I think this is a wonderful time of year. I know people will say that New Years Resolutions do not make a difference; that they will not last, but I think it is important all the same. I like the idea of starting new, refreshing old goals, re-evaluating where you are at in life and trying again. After all, I believe that is part of our purpose – to renew our hearts and start again.
It has been a difficult end to the year. Usually, we take some time during the Christmas break to reflect on the year gone by and get ourselves in the Christmas spirit by seeing lights, watching movies, and seeing lights. We have small traditions, like staying one night downtown to see the lights then watching movies in a hotel room. Even though home is only a half an hour away, we like to do this because it gets us in the spirit of the season. We love giving our neighbors goodies and shoveling snow from their yards. All things that create an atmosphere of joy.
We tried this year to do those things, but they were delayed with the death of my mother in law. Unexpected, difficult, and hard. The week it happened was so busy making arrangements for the funeral and being with family and friends that it almost seemed surreal. The busy kept it from being too real. My wife did not really get emotional because we were so busy and with the shock. Then the funeral took place and then it was all over. No more busy.
There was some family that came over after the funeral, but I could not make it. I went into my room to just sit down for one moment. That moment became a couple of hours as I was so exhausted from the busy that my body had enough and I needed to sleep. When I awoke it was just us, no more family there and nothing to keep us occupied. My wife finally let herself cry.
The next week was depression and sadness. I was back at work and she was left with her thoughts about her mother. It was good for her to reflect and let out her emotions, but it was tough. We had to face Christmas for the first time without her.
We went to see the lights and watch movies at the hotel, but it felt different. We listened to holiday music and made goodies like we always do, but still there was an emptiness. WE read the Christmas story in Luke and focused on Christ, but Christmas came and went and we barely blinked. We just could not find the Christmas spirit.
I did not want to give up though, and decided to try again for New Years. I kept playing holiday music and we kept up with the goodies. We continued to watch movies and tried to find the magic of the season. Mostly, this was so we could heal. It is getting better as we look forward to whats ahead, while remembering the good from whats behind.
So we have hit the new year. It’s a time to renew and refresh. Time to try again. A restart on things we hoped to accomplish, but were unable to when life did not go the way we wanted. Time to start over, a rebirth, a celebration of the life left in us all. Time to resolve to do better and be better.
This is why I think New Years Resolutions are important and why I will continue to have them, despite not meeting them perfectly. It is the hope within us, the hope of something more.